First, news reports over the last several days do confirm that the campus was seriously damaged in the storm and a later fire that impacted several buildings this past Tuesday. Dillard, however, has posted a recovery plan on their web site.
Before posting those plans let me say the school is going to need enormous financial contributions. Please consider helping out. If you own a business or can write a large check this is the moment to do it. Your gifts will help educate young people and there are few things more important than that. Click here to give. The United Negro College Fund is also raising money for this effort.
The Recovery Plan from the Dillard web site:
DILLARD UNIVERSITY RECOVERY PLAN UNDERWAY
Eunice, Louisiana—The Dillard University Board of Trustees, Dillard’s ninth President Dr. Marvalene Hughes and the senior staff are fully engaged in the recovery of the 55 acre campus.
The following action items are being executed immediately:
- We have committed to all registered students that they will not lose academic credit for this academic year. If we can resume classes in January 2006 on the Dillard campus, we will provide the equivalent of two full semesters of academic instruction between January and August, 2006. We must await an assessment of the physical status of the Dillard campus to determine if we can resume classes on the Dillard campus in January of 2006.
- The Provost is currently developing a plan to provide the required weeks of instruction. Once developed, the plan will be available at www.dillard.edu.
- Dillard students who enroll at other fully accredited colleges and universities this fall will receive full course credit in accordance with Dillard University Guidelines.
- A locator registry is being established at www.dillard.edu to allow faculty, staff, alumni and friends to identify their locations as soon as possible.
- We will need significant support from alumni, friends, corporations, foundations and government agencies to rebuild Dillard’s physical facilities and infrastructure.
Dillard requires significant cash investments from alumni, government sources, foundations, corporations and friends to restore the physical facilities and infrastructure, equipment, and academic instructional materials.
More than 68 prominent universities around the nation have offered their campuses and their services to aid Dillard students during the fall semester. Many are generously offering tuition, room and board to our students. We are grateful and reassured by our generous colleagues and by offers from numerous community agencies, leading national organizations and affiliate churches.
We are dedicated to the success of our students and the entire Dillard community, and all of us await eagerly our return to Fair Dillard.
The web site also carries a message tonight from the university’s Chaplain. Several students and parents have written to let me know that you’re reading this blog looking for updated information and I wanted to make sure you heard these inspiring words:
My grandmother used to say, “God is still on the Throne.” Perhaps you or one of your family members proclaims this also. Beloved of the Lord, Fair Dillard, God’s holiness, compassion and faithfulness has never been more real than it is at this instant.
We are not overwhelmed. We are challenged, yes. We are scattered, yes. Our hearts bleed and threaten to break. Nevertheless, with God’s help and the prayers of countless thousands, we will meet and consume this challenge. We will be gathered together again. And we will follow the pain in our hearts through into a deeper gratitude for what is entrusted to us, and a more profound sympathy for and understanding of those who suffer displacement and loss.
Hold fast to this: We are not overwhelmed. A better day is coming. God is still, still, Still, STILL on the Throne.
Rev. Gail Bowman
I hope that all the Dillard community know that people are praying for your success all across the United Church of Christ and the nation-at-large.